We were pulling together critical pieces of a leadership meeting for the CIO and his senior staff.
The task at hand was assembling folders for each attendee containing reference material and items like red and green cards to take a group vote at important decision points.
My team member (we’ll call her Carmen) asked our summer intern (we’ll call her Lucy) to go to the supply cabinet for another piece of cardstock.
When Lucy returned, she had the cardstock.
Carmen said, “Lucy, thanks. Yet, I’m going to tell you something that is critical in the world of work. When your boss asks you to bring one…
…you always bring two.”
Carmen continued, “That way, if there was a mis-count or a mistake is made, you won’t have to go back to the cabinet. You will already have what’s needed, and will have thought ahead in case there is a need for a Plan B.”
Lucy looked a little stunned. She had just delivered what had been asked, and instead of receiving appreciation, she was told there was a higher bar.
20 years into my career, I still think of Carmen’s words at least a few times a week.
These three simple words are a constant call to action:
- To exceed expectations
- Do a little more
- Think about what could happen and prepare for it
Instead of meeting the requirement, doing just enough, or planning for the best case scenario…